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Government launches operation “Sankat Mochan” to evacuate Indians from South Sudan

The UN reported, 36,000 South Sudanese civilians have fled their homes due to the fighting

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Two C-17s of the IAF will proceed to South Sudan capital Juba on Thursday for evacuation of stranded Indians. Image source: defence.pk
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Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh will lead Operation ‘Sankat Mochan’ to evacuate Indians from South Sudan, which has been rocked by violence that has claimed hundreds of lives, it was announced on Wednesday, July 13.

“We are launching OP #SankatMochan to evacuate Indian nationals from South Sudan. My colleague @Gen_VKSingh is leading this operation,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

She said Singh will be accompanied by Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry, Joint Secretary Satbir Singh and Director Anjani Kumar.

“Our Ambassador in South Sudan Srikumar Menon and his team is organising this operation on the ground,” Sushma Swaraj said.

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She also thanked Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and extended her best wishes to the Indian Air Force (IAF) for providing two C-17 Globemaster heavy-life aircraft for the operation.

V K Singh. Image source: Zee news
V K Singh. Image source: Zee news

There are around 500 Indians in the country.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Monday evening ordered a ceasefire after days of heavy fighting between government troops and forces loyal to Vice President Riek Machar in Juba.

President Kiir directed all commanders to cease all hostilities, control their forces and protect civilians, Information Minister Michael Makuei said in a televised speech on the state broadcaster SSTV.

The ceasefire took effect at 6 p.m. local time on Monday any member of the Machar-led forces who surrendered must also be protected, Makuei said.

The latest bout of violence started after a localised gunfight outside Kiir’s residence in Juba on July 7 when he was holding a meeting with Machar.

Earlier on Wednesday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted that the two C-17s will take off for Juba on Thursday.

The Indian embassy in Juba said in a statement said the aircraft were expected to land at 11 a.m. local time and Indian nationals with valid travel documents will be allowed to board.

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The return flights will be only up to New Delhi, the statement said.

The UN has said 36,000 South Sudanese civilians have fled their homes due to the fighting.

Embassies and aid organisations in South Sudan are moving to evacuate staff from Juba amid the tenuous ceasefire.

The US military in Africa said it has sent 40 additional soldiers to Juba to help secure American personnel and facilities in the war-torn city, Fox News reported. (IANS)

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When Khadi Transcends Boundaries

Indian Leading Designers Showcased collections using Khadi

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'Khadi - Transcending Boundaries' here.
'Khadi - Transcending Boundaries'. Pixabay

India’s leading designers Rohit Bal, Anju Modi, Payal Jain and Poonam Bhagat showcased collections using khadi at Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI)-presented ‘Khadi – Transcending Boundaries’ here.

The event, handspun around the country’s fabric of freedom Khadi in collaboration with Khadi Village and Industries Commission (KVIC), was a part of the SME Convention 2018 hosted by Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) on Monday night.

The designers showcased innovative modern twists to khadi ensembles in colours of white, black, indigo and mustard.

Representational image for a showcase event of KHADI.
Representational image. PIxabay

Giriraj Singh, Union Minister MSME, was the guest of honour and he thanked FDCI President Sunil Sethi, who was jubilant at the fashion show.

Khadi’s celebration was also witnessed by other prominent personalities like Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister of Minority Affairs, Meenakshi Lekhi, MP Lok Sabha, ad guru Prahlad Kakkar, KVIC Chairman Vinay Kumar Saxena, MSME Secretary Arun Kumar Panda and some international delegates.

“We would like to thank KVIC and Khadi India for believing in us. We will strive to promote Khadi through multi-faceted and meaningful drives which will bring to the fore its true potential and catapult it in the global arena,” said Sethi.  BollywoodCountry